Processing news briefs, Jan. 16

Indian Oil � BP � China � China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. � Bazan Oil Refineries � ExxonMobil Research & Engineering � US Department of Energy � Novozymes Biotech

Indian Oil Corp. and BP plan to build a 1 million ton dimethyl ether plant either in India or in one of the West Asian countries. BP will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture, IOC and Gas Authority of India Ltd. will have 24% each, and the Indian Institute of Petroleum will hold 2%.

China raised its refinery runs by 14% in 2000 to 201 million tonnes, 9.8% above the target. About 28% of the crude was imported. Strong crude runs were attributed to high domestic demand, the ban on oil products imports, and tougher measures to stop oil smuggling. Of the total, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. processed 55%.

Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd. has selected ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co.'s proprietary SCANfining process for its refinery at Ashdod, Israel. Bazan selected that technology for its Haifa, Israel, refinery last summer (OGJ Online, Aug. 18, 2000).

US Department of Energy will award up to $14.8 million to Novozymes Biotech Inc., a US subsidiary of Novozymes AS, for the development of enzymes for ethanol production. The funding will be over 3 years, as the milestones of the project are met. The first 1-year subcontract is $6.9 million. The research will develop high-efficiency enzymes systems to reduce the cost of converting plant material into fermentable sugars for the production of fuels and chemicals.

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